Some of the world’s most famous treasures were actually discovered by ordinary people, many of them using the most basic and low tech metal detectors available.
Who loves treasure? Most of us do – and what’s better than finding hidden or lost treasure with low tech tools and cheap metal detectors?
I spent a few hours combing through lots of stories and found some great ones that I wanted to share. If you enjoy treasures or the hunt for them then read on and enjoy!
This little treasure was discovered in Middleham Castle in North Yorkshire by Ted Seaton in September 1985. The story is unclear but it is said that Ted usually was out at the castle with his metal detector a lot until finally in September of that year he found and unearthed the gem. The jewel is an exquisitely engraved 15th century lozenge shaped gothic reliquary pendant, set with a large sapphire. Seaton’s metal detector had picked up trace metal elements in the setting of the pendant. Shortly after being discovered, the jewel was sold at auction at Sotheby’s in 1986 for the sum of 1.3 million pounds. It was also rumoured that a high ranking member of the Royal Family bought it.
A few years later, the jewel was once again up for sale and again it was sold – only this time it fetched 2.5 million pounds! Almost double then what it was originally sold for. The jewel would come up for auction again once more, but this time the Yorkshire Museum bought it and it can been seen there on public display to this day.
This treasure was a much larger find which was discovered by Eric Lawes on November 16, 1992 with his metal detector in the village of Hoxne in Suffolk. The hoard contained a cache of approximately 15,000 late 4th and early 5th century Roman silver and gold coins. They also discovered over 200 items of silver tableware and jewelery. After its discovery, it was declared a “Treasure Trove” (meaning you only get a really small percent of the value of the treasure) and it was purchased by the British Museum for an undisclosed amount. Several items from the hoard such as the famous Silver Tigress are on permanent display there. Eric Lawes and the landowner on who’s land it was found received 1.75 million pounds, and they divided it evenly.
“17th Century Gold Coin”
Although this story doesn’t involve mass quantities of gold and riches – never the less it still involves treasure and one ordinary person. On a sunny day in May 2004 in Overton, London, a novice treasure hunter named Richard Jones was out in a farmer’s field with his metal detector. After a few hours of searching and coming up empty handed, he finally got a good signal on his detector. Thinking it was an old bottle cap or something, Jones was surprised to see he had found some kind of coin he had never seen before.